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How to Get Customers or Members to Complete Profiles in Your Private Online Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 7, 2014 at 8:30 AM

There many ways that your customers or members can participate in your organization's private online community—from uploading useful documents to asking and answering questions in the discussion forums.

However, it is one of the simplest actions that plays a big role the long-term value and health of your online community. Encouraging your customers or members to not just complete, but maintain regularly-updated profiles is beneficial to both them and your organization.

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Member Engagement

Big List of Online Community Strategy and Management Tips

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM

You arrive at your desk each morning with ten impossible things to do before noon. Fires need immediate attention, deadlines get moved up, and priorities change.

This means that you don't always have the time to take advantage of the online community, member engagement, and customer management tips on the online community blog.

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Topics: Online Community Management

#1 Community Management Tip from the Professional Photographers of America

Written by Andy Steggles | on December 26, 2013 at 10:30 AM

We had our users' group conference earlier this month and, aside from our best attendance yet with over 300 attendees, we were treated to some really great sessions by seriously smart Higher Logic clients.

One of the tips that's stuck with me over the past few weeks was one from Lindsay Starke, Online Community Coordinator from Professional Photographers of America, who did a fantastic session on the psychology of community management. The tip is something I've seen many times in various communities but which I'd never given much thought to until I heard her explain how and why her organization does it.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Member Engagement

How Your Online Customer Community Helps Close More Sales

Written by Joshua Paul | on December 19, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Many companies are experiencing real benefits of managing customer and partner relationships through online customer communities.

Active communities provide valuable insight into your customers' challenges and motives, which in turn helps your company to create even better products and services. Providing an always-on network of peer-to-peer support can also lower customer service costs by taking some of the burden away from call centers and other support personnel.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Customer Experience, Customer Advocacy

3 Ways to Increase Participation in Your Private Online Community This Week

Written by Joshua Paul | on December 17, 2013 at 9:44 AM

We increasingly live in a world of instant gratification.

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Topics: Online Community Management

9 Signs You Should Fire Your Online Community Consultant

Written by Joshua Paul | on December 11, 2013 at 8:30 AM

If you need help with your online community you have many options for hiring specialists.

Social business strategists can help you conceptualize your online customer or member community and make sure that it solves the right problems for your target audience and your organization. You'll find online community consultants that will draw up business requirements and configure the technical and design aspects of private online communities. You'll also find marketing consultants that focus on launching online communities.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates

Membership Department vs. Community Management Department

Written by Andy Steggles | on December 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Associations are starting to realize that the traditional membership department is changing rapidly and for some, the focus has moved from membership to community.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Marketing, Associations

How to Overcome Uncertainty When Creating a Private Online Community [Try This Exercise]

Written by Joshua Paul | on December 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM

It is no secret that creating a thriving private online community for customers or members takes time and a consistent commitment of people. The other top reason that companies and membership organizations stutter-step their way to making decisive social business decisions is the fear that no one will visit and engage in their community.

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Topics: Online Community Management

Lurkers Rock! Who Says They Offer No Value?

Written by Andy Steggles | on November 19, 2013 at 9:30 AM

It's been awhile since the ASAE Annual Meeting, but I recently came across an Associations Now re-hash of a few sessions, including the one by friends Ben Martin and John Chen that sparked so much commentary about the value - or lack thereof - of lurkers in online communities.

Just to clarify, a "lurker" is a common term for someone who consumes content but does not create content, i.e. they read but don't create. I have to say that I totally disagree with the idea that lurkers are of no value in online communities. I see every lurker as both an asset to the community just by virtue of lurking, after all, if your members didn't read/consume/lurk, then it'd be much more unlikely that other members would create. Also, keep in mind that every lurker is a potential future contributor.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement

Software Support & Online Community Platform Selection

Written by Andy Steggles | on November 16, 2013 at 9:30 AM

A common and much disputed saying about online communities is 'build it and they will come,' referring to the concept that all you need to do to create a thriving online community is launch the software. Obviously, it's not that simple.

There's a lot that goes into the success or failure of an online community - strategy, site design, integration with whatever back-end database the org is using, etc. Not to mention community management. But one facet of online community that I don't think gets enough recognition is support, e.g. help for the person/people managing the community and helping them make their platform as good as it can be.

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Topics: User Group Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Support, Customer Success

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